There are so many of us who would not admit it, but when we were in high school we bullied other kids too. I remember I bullied at least three kids that I remember. You see I bully in different ways, I would mentally and verbally abuse other kids and I loved calling out their flaws. This was because when I was in high school and elementary I had an inferiority complex. As an adult I acknowledge that I am not a good person.
I know that there were kids in my school who got bullied in so many ways. But back then kids who got bullied fought back. There was a boy who acted out and strong-armed another student against the wall because the group of boys in our class always made fun of him. People remember him to be a bully, but I was one so I knew he wasn't. He was just afraid that if he didn't make himself seem tough, that the other kids would continue to bully him.
When I came home earlier today I heard from my mom and my derma (I was going home to get injections for my eczema) about another suicide. This time from my alma mater in Batangas. My derma has a daughter who was grade school classmates with the boy name Lee. Lee apparently shot himself due to depression caused by a combination of family and academic issues. He was bullied too.
Sometimes it's the quiet ones that suffer the most.
I remember I had a classmate who sat in the dark waiting for the class to start again. I wonder if Lee was like her too, pressured to keep his grades up and embarrassed when he needed to interact with other students who didn't seem to understand him. I wonder if one of the bullies in his class was like me and had taken the time to talk to him even when he didn't want to, would he still be around.
I sucked in Math. I totally did. I was only able to survive because I asked my superhuman math brains to teach me how to pass the tests in exchange for helping them out with their English essays and whatnot. I wonder if Lee had friends who would take the time to help him with his Math shortcomings would he have been able to pass his exams like I did and had one less thing to worry about.
What shocked me the most was the news that his teacher had replied to a text message with something akin to "What do you think?" when he asked if he was going to fail his subject. I took education units in Batangas State University and I know the Code of Ethics of Teachers. There is a whole freaking subject for it. You also need to take Psychology classes and train to be a teacher. No matter how tired my Math and Physics teachers were when I was in SBC no one told me this.
My teacher in Physics talked to me before saying that I would get a grade on my card that was lower than the expected low grade per subject for achievers. So she told me that she would adjust my grade for that grading and lend me a couple of points but that I would have to make it up for he next grading and I did. I hated Physics the subject but I found encouragement in my teacher who believed in me and helped focus that grading on improving my grade. My parents didn't expect us to be achievers but I was motivated by my classmates who were doing well in school and my teachers who made learning fun despite the intense pressure we were all under in high school.
We called the kid who smelled "putok". We called the kids who always had their good morning towel as "drivers". We called the fat kids names too. We sang "Silvertoes" to girls who liked guys who were out of their league. There were even boys who pretended to give flowers to those girls who liked them. I did power-tripping during PMT and apparently was too much of a tight-ass when I was in my senior year. But none of my friends got bullied, I bullied other bullies when they tried to come near my friends. Sometimes you can be a good bully if you defended those who were weaker than you.
But what is worse in this situation is when good people do nothing. When good men do nothing evil prevails.
Because of this I would be eternally grateful to one of my closest friends in EVER. She was a Bridgetine too. She sat me down near a tree in our high school building and told me what all the other kids were scared to tell me, that I was hurting them because of my behavior. For me I was just being my rowdy self. But she told me in the best possible way, away from others and without embarrassing me too that I had to change or people would start avoiding me. Real friend never embarrass or play jokes on each other. They help each other be the best version of themselves they could be.
Sometimes all a bully needs is someone to tell them that they are hurting themselves and others and that they can change. That they have every chance to change.
Sometimes all we need to have is COMPASSION for those who are not getting by as easily as we are. IF WE PLACE OURSELVES IN THEIR SHOES WE WOULD SEE THE WORLD IS NOT AS EASY TO LIVE IN AS WE THOUGHT and we would learn to be more sensitive in the things we say and do.
To my dear co-Bridgetines, let us pray for Lee and all the other kids who got bullied then and are getting bullied now.
Not all bullies graduate from being their high school self. When you go to college they just wear a different uniform and just use different tactics. After college you will encounter them at work. And whatever you do they will not change or make life less miserable for you.
Like I said in my previous blog about the UPM girl.
Each student should have a picture of their smiling parents and their friends in their wallet, ID pockets and whatnot so that when they feel like giving up and they can't go one anymore they just have to imagine what it would look like when those smiles are replaced by tears and sorrow because they are gone.
We can survive a lot of things, bullying, rejection, family problems and even a failed Math test if we just find the courage to cry in our mother's arms or to speak up if we are in a dark place. Sometimes the only person who can help us is ourselves. If all else fails there is GOD.
Be grateful of the love and life you had. Until you are responsible for another life would you understand just how much you owe your parents for having raised you.
Please always choose to stay than go away.